Friday, December 14, 2007

IT'S A GIRL!

Baby Maiya Lyn Lybbert was born on December 11th at 10:23am. She was 6 pounds, 2 ounces, 18 3/4 inches long, and is absolutely tiny and adorable! More photos to come soon...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

October in the Lybbert Family...

Well, when we made our brief trip down to Utah, we split up our time in Utah by driving down to Arizona for about 5 days. Ella managed to catch a wonderful flu-type bug for the first day of the drive [Thank you, Cole! Hehee....] ! And although I won't go into the details...I'll tell you that I'm looking for a good car-upholstery cleaning company... Ella was just wonderful to be in the car with for the rest of the trip (sense my sarcasm). "My belly hurts!" she exclaimed every 5 minutes! She seemed to feel perfectly better after a day or two...but the moaning didn't subside. By the way...I think I need to invent a lovely seatbelt pillow that wraps around the lap part of children's seat belts (You know...like they make for the shoulder straps?!). Life on road trips could be so much more pleasant! Don't let her beautiful smile in the picture fool you...she was miserable for most of the trip down and back from Arizona!

We stayed at a few nice resorts in Arizona, and managed to soak up some sun in the swimming pools. Arizona is a beautiful DRY place...and when it came down to it...we realized that although the winter temperatures are so pleasant...we really missed GREEN landscapes and FRESH WATER (rivers, lakes, oceans, etc)! There just seemed to be no escape from the burning sun! I suppose Arizona won't be our winter resting spot in future years...and so, the search goes on.

We made a day of going to the Phoenix Zoo, which left much to be desired, unfortunately. Perhaps it was just the heat, and the fact that none of the animals seemed to be visible in their zoo habitats! Also, Ella refused to sit in the stroller, and insisted on being carried (not by THIS pregnant woman...but poor daddy got to carry her...). The best part of the zoo had nothing to do with the animals...it was the water "sprinkler" play area for kids! Ella loved it, and yes, we let her go shirtless (I wrote topless first...but it seemed too obscene)!

While traveling south of Phoenix, we stopped in on the community of Rancho Sahuarita. We loved the planned family community, which neighbors Green Valley, a nice 55+ Community. We stopped in on a lucky October-Fest Day, and the whole neighborhood was enjoying outdoor activities at the neighborhood club. Ella got to join in at the little petting zoo, ride a mini train, jump in inflatable play-areas, play in the playground, and she could have even taken a pumpkin home with her (but we didn't want it sitting in the car for the next week)! Ella particularly liked petting the pig...


When we returned to Washington, it was just a few days before Halloween. On Halloween Day, just before leaving the house, we got Ella dressed up in her beautiful Chinese outfit (compliments of her Nana & Papa Saville, who lived in China briefly as she was in Alisa's womb)! We gave Ella her bag, and explained to her that she would hold out the bag, say "Trick of Treat," and that people would put candy in her bag. She lit up when she heard the word "CANDY!"

When we arrived at our church's "Trunk of Treat" activity, Ella immediately became silent, but managed to hold out her candy bag to scoop up lots of goodies! About 75% of the way through, she got up the guts to finally say "Trick or Treat" and "Thank you!" And of course, she avoided the "Scary" trunk, and didn't want to have anything to do with it! Lucky for us, she forgot about the candy the next day, and we secretly have been enjoying it for weeks! Gee...candy rots kid's teeth, you know! ;)

Other than these fun activities...life back in Washington has been mostly work, and not too much play! Nothing too exciting, with the exception of discovering that our storage was broken into as we were moving out of it. I guess we can be very grateful that they didn't get much that can't be replaced, or is very valuable...but we still turn to each other occasionally and say something like, "Hmm...have you seen the popcorn popper" "No..." "Well...I guess they got that, too..."

As for work...this is the time of year that we prepare all of our Holiday advertising for our business (physical mailers, and emails), and we have had the lovely adventure of changing web hosts for our website...which has been a worthwhile challenge!

The new baby is due to arrive in about 3 weeks, and Alisa's feeling rushed to get life organized again. Mainly, this means cleaning up the mess of business files, invoices, and receipts that have been building up since April, when we returned to Alaska this past Spring. In the summer we are just too busy to keep up with accounting, so the winter is spent playing catch-up!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

I was Tagged!

Well, my sister, Lea, just "Tagged" me...So that means...

The rules when you are tagged:

A. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning.
B. Each player lists 6 facts/habits about themselves.
C. At the end of the post, the player then tags 3 people (okay, so it was originally 6, but I am changing it since I don't know that many people with blogs!) and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.
(So WATCH OUT - You MIGHT be tagged NEXT!!!)

1. I am not a morning person. In fact, an alarm clock is pretty much a waste on me...really, the only thing that gets me up is a screaming child, or my husband telling me I really do have to wake up now! On the other hand, we tend to stay up very late at night. Ella is much calmer and easy-going at night, so I've found that I can get a great deal more accomplished at night! Therefore...late bedtime...and no early rising in this house!

2. I have an obsession with Vaseline as lip gloss! I can't stand other lip glosses or lip products...Vaseline is the only thing for me! I must reapply it about every 30 minutes, or else! There is nothing more miserable than going to run errands or going to church, and realizing that I did not bring one of the billion little Vaseline jars with me! My husband can't stand Vaseline...but he is pretty tolerant of my obsession :)

3. I have a hard time relating to people. Perhaps it's due to the "Alaska-influence," and my strong beliefs that "stuff" doesn't make a person (cars, houses, decor, etc). I think that life experiences are more important than all the "stuff" in the world. I would rather travel forever and experience new things, and meet new people, than own the most beautiful home in the world. This is one thing that I admire about RVers I meet in Alaska. They are not attached to anything, and are the happiest, friendliest people I have ever met. Their home is a rectangular box, the same size as some people's living room or kitchen, but they don't lust after, and obsess about getting more. I love that...!

4. I LOVE AIR. Okay, my family will start laughing at this...because I've always been obsessed with "fresh" air! But there is nothing more refreshing than cool, fresh air. I hate air conditioning, and would prefer to have the car windows down, or all of the doors and windows open in a house. A nice breeze is essential, however, and 75 degrees is about the max temperature that I can now comfortably enjoy! Blame that on Alaska, too...

5. I have the most stubborn child in the world. Surely she didn't get that from me...hahaha!! She drives me nuts sometimes, and at the same time, but that stubbornness also makes me laugh so so so hard! She also is fashion-obsessed, which is something that she obviously didn't get from me (really). I'm already dreading her teenage years...and hope that I can do as good of a job as my parents did with all of the kids in my family...

6. I LOVE FRESH FRUITS AND VEGGIES! Offer me fruit and veggies, and I'll skip all the hamburgers, Big Mac's, and whatever else you want to offer me. I could live on just a diet of asparagus, pineapple, raspberries, broccoli...and the list goes on :) I had always considered my self a borderline vegetarian growing up...not because I didn't believe in eating meats...but because I have always preferred to have a plate full of veggies than a big juicy steak.

So there are my 6 random facts/habits about me. Now I'm going to tag Christina, Michelle, and Brittany! No tag backs!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Well, we survived the trip down from Alaska with relatively little trouble! Ella tolerated the drive the best that can be expected, and by the end of the trip, all three of us (4 including the baby in the belly) were ready to get out of the car!

We arrived at our apartment back in Kennewick, Washington (Tri-Cities), in early October, and stayed put for about a week. We knew that time was ticking for us to put in a vacation, since Alisa's growing belly was going to keep us homebound starting in November. So, after one week of being back, we packed up the car and took off for a short vacation.

We first went and visited Alisa's sister, Lea, and her family in Lehi, Utah. Lea has 2 boys, Cole (the same age as Ella), and Hunter, who is 5. Ella was thrilled to be able to play with her cousins, or "My Friends!" as she called them! While there, we were able to just hang out and relax, go to the Discovery Children's Museum in Salt Lake City, and go on a short "hike" to Bridal Veil Falls in the canyon.Ella also enjoyed opening up boxes of hand-me-down clothing that a family friend in Kansas has given to her. As you can see in the center picture, she has a unique style, all her own! She also has a promising future (as does Hunter) as a weather broadcaster.

In the lower right-hand photo, Ella showed her dark-side while at Lea's house! She can just be the happiest little girl, and then...wham! Suddenly, she whips out that glare, and the smiles are over!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

THE BIG ANNOUNCEMENT...

Well, if you haven't heard the news already...Ella is happy to announce that she's expecting a new brother or sister! Mystery Baby #2 is on its way in Mid-December, and we have chosen not to find out the baby's gender, as we did with our first pregnancy. We are excited, and I have been soaring through the pregnancy well (although feeling very large and uncomfortable earlier than I remember the first time around)! I guess that is one gift mothers are blessed with...the ability to forget all of the aches and pains (and the delivery!) that you have to go through to get one of those amazing little kiddos!

I flew down to Juneau (Alaska' capital city...about an hour flight South from Skagway) today for an ultrasound. Juneau has no roads leading in or out, and therefore is only accessible by plane or ferry. I took a little puddle jumper that seated 8 passengers (actually the largest I've ever flown in between here and Juneau), and had a beautiful flight over the snow-capped mountains, and down through the misty Fjord that leads up the "Inside Passage." I can't help but stop and think of the words "Be still and know that I am God." This land takes my breath away year after year...it is such a magnificent witness of the creation! Anyways...the ultrasound went well, and we have a healthy, growing baby in my tummy! I discovered that I have a borderline case of gestational diabetes, which means I need to watch my sugar intake, so as not to create an over-sized baby in my tummy (Yikes!). It's probably a result of my poor diet in the summers, as well as my lack of exercise lately. We just don't get much fresh, healthy food in the summers, and exercise is almost slim to none. I am looking forward to getting back into a healthy groove...I had such healthy habits with my first pregnancy, and went walking each and every day! Soon!!

One funny choice we made with this pregnancy was not to tell Jared's family, since Jared wanted to tell them in person when they arrived here on their cruise in late August. That meant when they arrived I was already 5.5 months pregnant...and showing! They couldn't believe we had kept it a secret for so long...but hey...they hadn't asked! Pretty funny...

Since the baby is due just before Christmas, we won't be traveling much this year. Since it is a Saville-Family Christmas (every other year the Saville family gets together for a joint holiday), the Saville family has elected to come spend their Christmas in Leavenworth, Washington! Yay! We have rented a cabin for the whole family (11 adults and 5 children), and are looking forward to snuggling up for some good quality time! Some of the family may be enjoying skiing, and shopping around town, but having JUST delivered a baby...I'm not quite sure how many of the outdoor activities I'll be participating in!


THE SUMMER IN SKAGWAY...

Is OVER!!! YAY!!! We had 5 intense months this year with cruise ship tourists arriving in Skagway every day (about 1 million total visitors this year...with only 7 short blocks of shopping district, and endless tour options). By the end of the season, our business hours shrink significantly, and you will see (below) our adjusted hours for the last few weeks. Here are some photos of our store in action...
We are exhausted, and are thrilled to close our store at the close of this season. Now is the time of year that we do inventory in our store, pack up all of our personal belongings in our travel trailer, and move them to the store for safe-keeping.

We have attached the notorious car-top carrier on our Saturn Wagon, and will pack it full of business files, clothes, and whatever else we claim we can't live without. This is the "mother of all car-top carriers"...it's what the Saville family used on their van for family vacations growing up...and let us tell you...it still gets double-takes on the freeways! After all, it is probably upwards of 15 years old, and they simply don't make them this attractive or aerodynamic (ha!) anymore! Alisa's parents claim that they tried to sell it at a garage sale one year in Kansas, but no one would buy it. Thank goodness for that...because you can fit about twice the amount of baggage in this old carrier than new ones on the market! Therefore, it has been a huge blessing with our bi-annual move to and from Alaska!

So, with all that being said...it is time to head South. We are leaving for the long drive to Washington State this weekend. It is about a 2,000 mile (3-day) drive to Washington...and we're hoping that Ella will be well-behaved! Ella's always been pretty sweet about bearing this drive to and from Alaska each year (not to mention the other drives we've taken...such as driving all the way to Kansas, Atlanta, North Carolina, and Utah)...so we'll see how well this fiesty 2.5 year old will take it this time! She loves her new "Cool Chair" (big-kid carseat) that we got her a few months ago (as pictured below)...so hopefully she'll enjoy the greater freedom this seat allows, as opposed to the more confining types for infants.

We will be moving into our previous apartment building in Kennewick, Washington (Tri-Cities) by the end of the first week of October, and head out on a short trip to Utah (and perhaps beyond?), before locking ourselves up inside our apartment in anticipation of our "Estimated Date of Confinement." Speaking of that...did you know that "EDC" is the medical term for a baby's due date? It sounds like such a wonderful date to anticipate...the date of CONFINEMENT. Oh well, I guess that's parenthood in many ways...

Best wishes to all as Autumn heads your way. Skagway's Fall has already begun, and is soon to disappear entirely to winter. We now have permanent "Termination Dust" feathering the mountain tops (see the snow on right!)...sending the tourists and seasonal locals scattering in all directions...hoping for a taste of summer down South before Fall takes over the Northern Hemisphere! We will join the crowds scrambling south from Alaska, and will hopefully see many of you soon!

Monday, September 17, 2007




Hello, and welcome to the "Alaska Nuts" blog! In an attempt to not inundate friends and family with photos and emails, we've decided to attempt a blog, and see how it goes. Truth be known, it's rare that we inundate people with emails, because it typically takes us about a month to respond to any emails we receive! So, here's a brief update of the Lybbert Family's lives in the Summer of 2007!

We returned to Skagway, Alaska, in mid-April, managed to do a mini makeover in the retail store that we own and operate in this busy tourist town (In the photo above, our store is the right half of the building)! Ella was helpful as we painted, built new displays, and completely rearranged our new and old merchandise.

Owning and Operating the store keeps us working each and every day, rain or shine. In the summer months, we are at the store every single day for 5 months straight! This year we cheated, and managed to squeeze in 3 days off! We had planned to drive up to Whitehorse after work for just an evening (Whitehorse is the capital of the Yukon...about 2 hours away), but what was supposed to be just an evening, turned into 2 full relaxing days. The next weekend we had another breakdown when the weather got extremely warm (80 degrees for us is HOT!!!). We bought a little baby pool for Ella to "swim" in, washed the cars (which is an effort that seems a bit futile in Alaska), and then pulled out the canopy on our lovely summer home (yes, a beautiful travel trailer)! Other than those 3 days, we have been pricing, displaying, packaging, selling, and smiling at tourists since May! (Well, we haven't always been smiling...but that's another story!)

We've had only a few memorable visitors this summer (Wow! Does that sound bad, or what? Particularly because we see almost 1 million visitors enter this town each summer...hahaha)! One surprise visitor in our store included Merrill Osmond, one of the original Osmond brothers, who was performing on one of the cruise ships, and stopped in to make a purchase with his daughter in our store. I wish I could say we recognized him right off the bat, but it was only when we were asking him about where he was from that he leaked "Utah"...and one thing led to another. Jared asked for a photo, and he was happy to oblige.

Of course, our favorite visitors this summer were FAMILY! We love to share this portion of our lives with friends and family, and we were excited to have 9 of Jared's family members visit this summer. The Saville's have always taken the trophy in the past (Mom, Dad, Ben, Jenny, and Lara have all visited in past years), so we were excited to have Jared's parents visit again, and bring more family with them! When we first set up our store in 2005 (just 4 weeks after having Ella), Jared's parents drove up with Jared's uncle Terry (who hauled up our travel trailer we purchased in Washington), and while Terry immediately made a U-Turn to return to work in Quincy, Jared's parents were able to stay for several days and help us set up shop!

Anyhow, Jared's parents, grandparents, Aunt & Uncle Terry & Melissa, Aunt Jeanne, and 2 other relatives arrived on our busiest day of the week! Since they were on a cruise ship, they only had one day to see and experience this beautiful town! We picked them up early, showed them some viewpoints, and took everyone on a short hike to the Yakutania Point, overlooking our Fjord, the cruise ships at port, and the beautiful Chilkat Mountain Range! Here's Ella getting the best hiking view on top of Grandpa's shoulders!